Articles, Blog

INSULIN PUMPS ON THE BEACH

October 12, 2019


Hey guys! I’m here in Mexico at the beach, and I thought
I would make a video about having an insulin pump at the beach because I found this week
to be very challenging having a pump on me. I thought I would give a little video to show
you what I’m doing to make things a bit easier. I think having an insulin pump on the beach
really sucks, and this is why… So the first thing I find challenging is that
it’s really hard to clip it to your bathing suit. Especially if you’re a girl because there’s
not much there to clip it to usually. You walk around with your pump site out, and
your pump showing, you get a lot of stares, you get a lot of people looking at you thinking
“oh, what’s wrong with her? What kind of medical condition does she have?”. Another thing is that if your pump isn’t waterproof,
it’s really hard if your going in and out of the water. Not to mention you have to protect it from
the sand. Lastly, it’s really hot here. So, you have to protect your pump from the
heat because if your pump gets too hot, the insulin will get too hot and it will stop
working. I’m going to go through how I deal with these
challenges of having an insulin pump on the beach. The first problem is with where to clip your
pump. I find when I buy my bathing suit, I like
to pick one that has a pretty sturdy strap at the bottom. Nothing too stringy, or you’ll clip your pump
to your bathing suit and your bathing suit will fall down! So I try to pick the bathing suit that I can
clip my pump to, and I know it will stay on without pulling the bottoms down. So another thing I find really annoying is
when your walking around with your pump here, and you get a lot of stares, inquisitive looks,
like “what is that? a heart monitor?”. Nobody really knows what it is. My advice is just don’t care! I know it’s easier said than done. I’ve learned over the years to really embrace
the fact that I have type 1 diabetes and to not be shy about it. It’s nobody’s business really and just wear
it and flaunt it and don’t be ashamed of it! What I do with my pump on the beach really
depends on what kind of activity I’m doing. If I’m just going for a walk down the beach,
I’ll have my pump clipped to my bathing suit. If I’m just sitting in my chair like this
on the beach, I’ll put my pump in a protective case and then put it under my towel. If I’m going to go swimming, I disconnect
my pump, put it in this case, which is slightly insulated. It protects the pump from heating up a lot. I will put it in my beach bag, and I make
sure to put my beach bag in the shade so that it doesn’t get hot either. If I want to take a break from my pump, and
say take it off for about an hour, I’ll check my blood sugar, make sure that my blood sugar
is a good number. Then I will give myself a bolus of what I
would normally receive from within an hour from my basal rate, and then after an hour
of having my pump off, I check again to make sure that my blood sugar is still fine. And I’ll either reconnect or stay disconnected. But it’s all about keeping an eye on your
blood sugar while your pump is off to make sure it doesn’t rise and giving yourself the
appropriate amount of insulin. Okay, so the last thing I need to address
is keeping your pump cool because it’s really hot here. I’ve been using this case. It’s what I got with my pump. It’s kind of insulating. It makes it so that my pump doesn’t get too
warm, but it definitely doesn’t keep it cool. So I would suggest getting a FRIO case. You can get them online. I know a lot of people have these. It keeps your pump cool when you’re at the
beach or in any hot climate. I know I’ll be purchasing one when I get home
because I think my pump has gotten too warm on the beach here in Mexico. One thing I haven’t quite figured out yet
is how to do water sports with an insulin pump. Because my pump is not waterproof, so I can’t
take it with me. If any of you have ever done any sort of snorkelling
or kayaking, any sort of water sports, please let me know in the comments down below how
you have done that with an insulin pump. I would greatly appreciate it. So for my next insulin pump I’m definitely
going to get a waterproof one, just so it’s easier to do any sort of water sport. I feel like you also have to be less careful
with the waterproof insulin pump than with the one I have now. You’re still able to have a good beach vacation
with type 1 diabetes. So if any of you are going on vacation soon,
I hope you find this helpful and you are able to enjoy your time at the beach! Thanks again for watching. Bye!

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43 Comments

  • Reply adrian29459 January 10, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Great idea for a video, a pump on a bikini certainly could be an inconvenience (I find it annoying enough on running shorts). I have the Medtronic 640g pump, it's waterproof to a particular depth. I also have a waterproof belt for it, looks like the aquapac on Amazon, worked with my old pump in the pool

  • Reply Belushi87 January 11, 2017 at 12:11 am

    have you thought about an omnipod?

  • Reply Monnee Red January 21, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Hi Michelle 👋🏽 I remember you from my IG @monneelovee it is currently disabled. Anyway, I recently started my insulin pump journey. I started with the minimed 630g by Medtronic . It is fully waterproof. My trainer said I can shower with it, but where would I clip it? 🤔 Lol 😆 Nice to have found you on here 💕

  • Reply T1D Lindsey February 7, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Loved this video! I subscribed, keep up the awesome work! 🙂

  • Reply Troy Wright March 22, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Omnipod is waterproof

  • Reply Sydney Rector March 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    This is a bit of a delayed comment but you should look into the animas vibe pump it is very similar to the pump you have now and it's is waterproof up to 15 feet.

  • Reply Kristy Marie March 27, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    My daughter has type 1. Thank you for your tips!! How long have you had type 1? Also when you take the pump off at the beach and you say to give a small amount how would you be getting that amount if the pump is coming off?

  • Reply Roxys Playland March 31, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Just to let you know I am a
    MiniMed Ambassador for Medtronic and they just came out with a water proof Insulin Pump a 630G and they will be coming out with the first Hybrid Closed Loop Artificial Pancreas this Spring the 670G you should talk to your Endocrinologist or pump rep about it! You'll really Love it I am also doing videos about it on my channel as well! Www.YouTube.com/RoxysPlayLand

  • Reply ana brown April 14, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Okay, I have a question & I'd be really grateful if you answered it. Do you drink sweetened or alcoholic mocktails or drinks? Or do you avoid them altogether? If you do drink them, then how often?

  • Reply Karen Harrington April 15, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Great video, Michelle. I was diagnosed with Type 1 at 52 and live at the beach! It's been a challenge. I purchased the Frio and have found it really helpful. I, too, am trying to figure out a way to do watersports using my existing pump. Has anyone responded to that yet?

  • Reply Swingin Monkey April 15, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    I'm on a swim team and I have type one and I just check my bg every hour or when I feel high or low it's actually quit east just don't over think it

  • Reply Alyssa Prosser May 31, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I have a waterproof insulin pump. Omnipod!!!!!!! It's amazing.

  • Reply ally magee June 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    is there anywhere you can buy this bag?? I'm going to the beach in 2 weeks!

  • Reply Isabella Monroe June 26, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I have the animas vibe insulin pump and it is waterproof and sand proof/dust proof. It is great for the beach and when I'm swimming in my backyard! Also keep up the diabetes videos, I really enjoy watching them! Xx

  • Reply Ruben Vuittonet June 27, 2017 at 2:31 am

    I have an Animas One Touch Ping. It's waterproof up to 12 feet for up to 24 hours. I have been swimming with it twice, once in a pool, the other in the Gulf of Mexico.
    They recommend you clean it afterward as chlorine (pool) or salt (ocean) build up. Based on one of your videos where you show the pump, the interface is very similar.
    Of course, in the states, BG is measured in terms of mg/dL, so you'll need to see if there is a version available that uses your metric.

  • Reply Conrad Cherrington June 29, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Omnipod for Water Sports. I surf with mine all the time. It is fantastic!

  • Reply amdrew rodriguez July 6, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I don't have a pump yet because I just got type 1 diabetes and in only ten and just got it 2 months ago

  • Reply Chance Moore July 31, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Michele we should communicate I am I newly diagnosed diabetic with in the last month

  • Reply JEFFREY21CHEESE -X- August 31, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Ilysm ur so honest and I found you after u commented to me about a dexcom on the dale tribes channel. I subscribed straight away. You r such an inspiration to me

  • Reply Eleanor M September 10, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Hey Michelle just wondering where did you get that little pink, slightly insulated pump pouch for you pump from??

  • Reply Dino Demopoulos November 14, 2017 at 4:11 am

    amazing michelle, great video. just discovered this page. i'm looking in to the omnipod, hoping to get it in the coming weeks. looking forward to my first pump 🙂 diagnosed under two years ago, so it'll be a big step. like that it's waterproof and of course no tubing. keep the great work with these videos.

  • Reply Omastarz 2 November 28, 2017 at 1:52 am

    I️ also generally put tape around my site so sand won’t get in I️t.

  • Reply Caged January 3, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Why not put it in one of those runner's fanny packs or arm straps.

  • Reply harrylook January 8, 2018 at 2:18 am

    when people stare at my pump at the beach, I stare back in the rudest, most "psycho-killer" way possible

  • Reply Yariv Assouline January 23, 2018 at 1:51 am

    Hi Michelle, Have you consider the new Medtornic insulin pump 640G or even the latest one 670G? both waterproof
    Your video is really good and will help many people
    Hope you have a wonderful time in mexico

  • Reply Ashley Irwin February 21, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    omg! love all your vids. I gotta ask where did you get that bathing suit top? so bad ass girl. I've gotten switched over to Omnipod and thank goodness for that, love that it's waterproof!!

  • Reply Sarah Noble February 26, 2018 at 1:32 am

    HI Michelle, just wondering where you get your little pink case that you put your pump in, I've been looking for a little case that has some insulation for the beach and pool:)

  • Reply altamiradorable March 7, 2018 at 2:33 am

    Staring is the least of my problems !!
    lol !

  • Reply Jimmy Official April 4, 2018 at 5:14 am

    Ummmmm… T slim

  • Reply sumelle2 April 4, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Good for you! I rarely go to the beach anymore cause it’s a pain and just not worth all the hassle, like a lot of th8ngs with this disease. If I swim I have to remove my pump too and then I’m worried someone will steal it or something will happen to it etc. the omipod is the only one you can really swim with now and it’s not great as an overall pump. I think animas is going out of biz maybe? I plan to get the frio pump belt case in case I try again. I always have mine on a softy belt along with dexcom. I have a slim which you can’t swim with and I like it, I’m not switching to another pump. Someone told me that takes 2 units levemir when he surfs at the beach so I guess it’s possible to do that and have your pump off for an extended period however I do not want to start trying to figure all of that out with my crazy blood sugar. I have down the bolts thing too if shower etc sometimes and at the beach.

  • Reply xanScorp April 13, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I know this video was posted over a year ago, (not sure about when it was made due to the warmer climate location), but what about the infusion site itself. That was never mentioned.
    It was stated suggested areas to wear it, but not where the infusion site should/could be to minimize the unsightly appearance of it.
    Also, since you did mention about the wind, I would recommend a wind shield for the mic, though that would depend on what it was recorded using. (Or a cordless clip-on mic which generally has noise-cancellation.)

  • Reply Saravanan Sk April 19, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Me also type 1 diabetes in india

  • Reply Diya Patel April 28, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Please can you use an omni pod and give an review and explain what it does

  • Reply Marty Bray June 10, 2018 at 3:24 am

    You are right you have to own your diabetes! After 36 years that attitude has served me well. Keep up the good management!

  • Reply Amanda M. June 18, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    I went on a cruise in 2016, and whenever we went to the beach to snorkel, I didn't want to leave my pump unattended on the beach while we were in the water (don't want to be forced to use travel loan pump and have to buy another pump if it gets stolen or taken with a bag left on the beach).

    I bought a fairly large Pelican case and diving belt, and put my pump and blood testing supplies (and any other valuable insulin stuff) in the case while I was snorkelling . . . it floats and I'd let it float above my back like a waist pouch on backwards. I put the belt through the handle of the pelican case, and it was securely attached to me . . . another good thing; if you float down the beach and realize you need a bolus or to check sugars, you can just go onto the beach, shake off your wet hands and test away, (or reattach your pump momentarily for a bolus) without having to find your bag 500m down the beach.

    https://www.sail.ca/en/pelicancases-case-pelican-1150-236271
    (I had one about this size in a nice bright orange color for visability) Another thing: if you are snorkelling with friends, buy some bright colored T-shirts in an unusual and highly-visible color against water, because it is exhausting swimming against the current to discover you spent 15 minutes swimming towards a stranger who looked like your significant other. I bought my fiance and myself matching neon orange shirts at a craft store for $5 each, and it made finding each other while snorkelling 20 times easier.

    Pelican case even makes small, clear belt-sized ones just big enough for a pump . . . I used this on the cruise ship and had it on hand in case I wanted to jump in the hot tub (I put my Medtronic pump in the case and left it on the side of the hot tub to protect it from dirt/splashes) or used it if I wanted to jump in the pool with my pump dry inside the case. ** I only left the pump outside the water when the water was hot (avoid needlessly heating insulin).

    https://www.sail.ca/en/pelicancases-case-1020-w-liner-236233

  • Reply Peter Sampson February 1, 2019 at 7:27 am

    My wife wears her pump on her hat at the beach (we live near the beach).

  • Reply Heidi Richards February 21, 2019 at 6:11 am

    I don’t think people are looking as much as you think. We’re all worried about our own bodies and how we look we’re not worried about other people.👙

  • Reply The Ancient One March 10, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    Can't hear to well to wind and music to high

  • Reply Lydia Schultz June 24, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    You can detach you pump if you want for up to an hour then put it back on a while and then take back off and go.I am really exited becuase i am gettin my pump tonight

  • Reply Lydia Schultz June 24, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    You can put your pump in a plastic bag

  • Reply Blu June 25, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    I'll be too nervous to talk to someone with type 1 diabetes. I mean, what are you suppose to say and stuff. Do you have to act a certain way?

  • Reply Nadin Lüdicke August 5, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    I have an accu check insight and my doctor told me to not wear a pump at the beach because the sand gets into the thread and ruins the pump. does anybody has experience with this – since i am going on vacation and trying to figure out how to manage beach and pump.

  • Reply Abbey Horn September 1, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    A little tip for anyone reading this… if you get an insulin pump that is advertised as waterproof, sometimes after dropping it once or twice, it is not really water proof anymore. So just be careful of if you have ever dropped your pump (like me many times 😂), it may not really be waterproof anymore!

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